Sep 7 2012 by Andrew Burns, Dumfries Standard Friday
Paul Bedford who held the door shut as McMenamin tried to force his way into the shop.
A SWORD-WIELDING thug had two terrified Dumfries shop workers fearing for their lives.
Dean McMenamin, 20, (pictured below) brandished a two-foot blade as he tried to force his way into Hendersons newsagents on Galloway Street.
Shop owners and partners Paul Bedford and Audrey Delaney had to barricade themselves in the shop until the police arrived.
Paul, 51, told the Standard: We are both very lucky to escape this ordeal unharmed. It was a truly awful experience that we will never forget.
This evil, cowardly man, who we had never seen before in our lives, was threatening to kill us for no apparent reason.
Fortunately we were able to get behind the shop door and stop him before the police came.
I got Audrey inside the shop, shut the door and held it tight but all I had between me and this scumbag with a massive sword was a piece of glass.
He was battering the glass with this horrific sword telling us that we were going to get it.
Audrey, 56, added: I phoned the police while Paul held the door shut but this man wouldnt stop.
Paul was trying to reason with him and tell him to go but he seemed to have his mind made up that he was going to hurt us. I remember panicking about how and when it was going to end.
I was on the phone to the police trying to explain what was happening while fearing for our lives. This lasted for around seven or eight minutes until the police arrived and caught him but this seemed like an absolute eternity.
At Dumfries Sheriff Court on Tuesday, McMenamin, described as a prisoner at Polmont, admitted behaving in a threatening manner at the shop on July 21, brandishing an ornamental sword and attempting to force entry.
The court also heard that he went on to threaten to assault a police officer when he was off duty and said he would rip his throat out and bite his face.
He admitted threatening the two members of staff and repeatedly striking a glass panel on the door and shattering it.
Depute fiscal Alison Herald told the court that Audrey and Paul were in fear for their lives.
They were waiting on newspapers being delivered at around 5.10am when McMenamin appeared on the other side of the road with the blade in his hand.
Paul, a former pub owner from London, said: The papers were late that morning, which is why we were both standing at the front of the shop waiting.
If they had been on time then we would have been in the store with the door wide open and he would have had a free entry. Its awful to think what might have happened if we didnt spot him coming towards the shop with the sword in his hand.
I also think we were very lucky that the glass on the shop door held for as long as it did. It probably saved us from being seriously hurt or worse.
He had his sick mind set on hurting Audrey and we really had a lucky escape in the end.
McMenamin was seen by police after the attack carrying the sword in his hand before he dropped it and ran off.
He was quickly traced and arrested.
In the dock on Tuesday, McMenamin also admitted behaving in a threatening manner at the Loreburn Street Police Station in the town and threatening the police officer.
He was remanded in custody for background reports and sentence was deferred for a month.
Paul said: I hope the courts have the guts to dish out the punishment that this thug deserves.
He deserves to go to jail but sometimes thats not enough for some people and I hate to think that someone else could be the victim of this man in the future.
We are definitely more on guard than before but we cant go through our lives fearing whats around the corner. We werent harmed physically and we have moved on.